Halloween with Gestational Diabetes
Is the thought of all those Halloween sweets filling you with dread and turning into a real nightmare? Don’t worry ladies, you can still have lots of yummy things this Halloween that won’t raise those blood sugar levels and have some fun too!
If you’re planning on having some fun at home with the kids or just with family or friends, then here are some fun ideas for you to try that won’t spike your blood glucose levels!
Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs
It doesn’t get much more GD-friendly than this… eggs and olives!
These are simple devilled eggs, with sliced black olives on top. For my deviled eggs I hard boil eggs, once cooled, slice in half, scoop out the yolks, mash then add plenty of full-fat mayonnaise, dijon mustard, a drop of apple cider vinegar, salt & freshly ground black pepper and mix until it is a smooth creamy consistency and tastes delish! Spoon the egg yolk mixture back into the cavities in the egg whites and top with a sprinkle of paprika if you like. Then take black olives, sliced in half to create spider bodies and slice strips for the legs.
Cheesestring Witches Broomsticks
Here’s another fun idea that will go down a storm with the kids, but it’s another great idea for GD mamas too! These are just cheesestrings and pretzel sticks. You can create 2 broom heads from one cheesestring! The pretzel sticks are high in carbs, but they are being paired well with the cheesestring. If you prefer you can swap the pretzel sticks for carrot or celery instead.
Witchy Guacamole Dip
Whip up a bowl of my guacamole, then take some pimento stuffed olives for eyes, a pickled gherkin for a nose, grated carrot for hair and some blue corn tortilla chips for the witches hat! The natural fat in guacamole makes for a perfect pairing tool for enjoying some tortilla chips!
Avocado Witches Fingers
So simple and fun! Slices of avocado wrapped in *parma ham. Use slices of olive for fingernails.
*Parma ham should be frozen and then thawed before use or cooked to be eaten safely in pregnancy, alternatively, you could use cooked ham, turkey, Quorn etc.
There are a few options for low-carb pizzas which can be made into a cute Halloween pumpkin shape.
Or how about making a Halloween cauliflower base pizza instead? Here’s my recipe for cheesy garlic bread, but this can easily be used as a pizza crust instead
These meatball mummies will bring a smile to most little ones faces, whether that’s on a party platter or just served up for dinner on Halloween night!
You can make your own meatballs, or buy high meat content meatballs or vegetarian ‘meat’ balls (or even use high meat content hot dogs sausages cut in halves).
Cook the meatballs/sausages through then dip each one in my Spag Bol recipe sauce, then wrap with strips of mozzarella or courgette for a vegan version.
Finish off with a couple of slices of sliced black olives for eyes and serve on their own as an appetizer, or on a bed of courgetti and a small serving of wholewheat pasta with extra pasta sauce for a meal!
Spooky green monster noodles
Here’s another fab recipe using courgetti, an all-time GD Mums favourite! If you haven’t tried it yet then give it a go!
Pumpkin face Stuffed Peppers
Slice off the tops, cut out the seeds, then carve out mini pumpkin faces. Stuff the peppers with a high-protein filling, then pop the peppers onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt & black pepper and bake until just starting to caramelise.
Don’t waste the pumpkin seeds!
Pumpkin seeds are great for gestational diabetes. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, good fats and protein. Eat them as a snack or add them to yoghurt, salads and use them for food pairing with carbs.
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Roasting pumpkin seeds is really easy. You simply need to wash the seeds to remove any pumpkin flesh, then lay them out to dry on some kitchen roll. I leave them overnight to dry out fully. Then toss in a drizzle of olive oil and coat with seasoning or spices of your liking and roast in the oven at a low temp (around 160c fan) until they are crisp.
Ideas for flavouring pumpkin seeds: sea salt, paprika, chilli flakes, cumin, rosemary, cinnamon, ground ginger, or below are my Pumpkin Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin soup is delicious, sweet and warming, the perfect dish for a chilly Autumn day. If you are tempted to make pumpkin soup and haven’t tried before, although Halloween carving pumpkin is edible, it is very fibrous and pretty tasteless. Instead try using a smaller cooking pumpkin, autumn squash and/or butternut squash and you will end up with a beautiful flavoursome soup. Below is my recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup. It is GD friendly, vegan and gluten-free!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Every year I see ladies posting in my Facebook support group desperately craving Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but these sweet Halloween drinks are packed with carbs (sugar), making them a risky choice for anyone with diabetes.
Here are the total carbs in short (small) Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Latte:
Short skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, 27.6g – almost 7 tsp of sugar!
Short whole milk, 27.0g – 6 ¾ tsp of sugar
Short coconut milk, 24.8g – just over 6 tsp of sugar
Short soy milk, 24.3g – 6 tsp of sugar
Make your own GD friendly pumpkin spice latte instead, it is so easy!
Did you know that there isn’t actually pumpkin in a pumpkin spice latte? It is a mixture of spices and sugar that creates the taste of pumpkin pie from which pumpkin spice was developed.
Pumpkin spice is harder to find in the UK and can be expensive, but you could just make your own instead which will last you all Autumn just with a few store cupboard spices: ½ tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ¼ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground mace and ¼ tsp ground allspice.
Make a coffee with whole, almond, soy or coconut milk, whip up plenty of fresh cream and add some of this pumpkin pie spice, along with some sweetener if you wish! Yummy!
Where are the sweet treats I hear you cry?!
Fear not, I have some sweet treats to get you through those Halloween parties and trick or treating knocks at the door if you can’t face having too many sweets in the house.
How awesome do these look? A GD UK Mums favourite snack adapted for Halloween fun! Apple and peanut butter. Use a Granny Smith apple for lower sugar content and choose a peanut or nut butter with less than 7g total carbs per 100g. The teeth are sunflower seeds, but any seeds or nuts can be used to your liking. For more help with finding the better peanut butter, take a look at the nuts and peanut butter post.
Spooky Halloween Delight Cups
No Added Sugar Angel Delight made as per my recipe to increase the pairing
Pumpkin Face Jelly Pots
These are so simple to make and kids love them! Make a sugar-free jelly using slightly less water than the packet recommends (this will make a slightly firmer jelly), then set it in the fridge. Once set, mix the jelly up so that it breaks up. Slice the top off oranges, cut between the orange segments and pith to scoop out the orange and pour out any juice. Draw (I use a black eyeliner pencil) or carve faces in the oranges and fill them with the jelly.
Take a look at the recipe on Good to Know but swap the jelly for a sachet of sugar-free or no added sugar jelly. Note: you may wish to make this recipe with less water than normally recommended to create a firmer jelly as sugar-free jelly can be runnier than normal jelly.
If you are craving to make something which is more of an actual sweet then how about chocolate peanut butter cups?
Sweets are very hard to tolerate with gestational diabetes and sugar-free alternatives can cause digestive upset (see my information on diabetic foods) but chocolate is a better choice due to the fat content which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. The peanut butter helps to pair the chocolate and makes these sweet treats even more tolerable. If you make these then you will have to be good and not eat the lot! Great for a sweet treat IF you can be good. If you cannot eat peanut butter then an alternative nut butter would work just as well.
Sugar Free Sweets – WARNING!!
You may see these and think they would be the answer to your cravings, or you may think what a great, healthier alternative for the kids this Halloween!
If you do decide to have sugar free sweets then you may want to restrict yourself from eating too many (when I say too many, I mean no more than like 3 individual sweets in a day!!) and please whatever you do, DO NOT let your child eat a small bag of these.
These types of sweets are made with sweeteners. Whilst these sweeteners may not raise blood sugar levels as fast as sugar, certain ones aren’t much different on the glycaemic index to sugar itself, plus they can cause some embarrassing and uncomfortable side effects such as cramping, wind and diarrhoea, so bad that some ladies who have overindulged thought that they were in labour! You’ve been warned…
Gestational Diabetes UK Membership Halloween recipes for Bronze & Silver members to access
Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins
Sweet pumpkin-spiced breakfast muffins. These are an Autumnal spin-off from my other popular Breakfast Muffin recipes. Packed with healthy fats, protein and fibre, they are the perfect low-carb sweet breakfast or snack for on the go!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweet delicate and moist pumpkin-spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting.
A recipe created for Autumn days, perfect for snacking on as they are self-paired due to the ingredients used.
These Pumpkin Cupcakes contain pumpkin making them lovely and moist and they are flavoured with pumpkin pie spices of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
Toffee Apple Loaf Cake
Halloween is a time for toffee apples, but a sweet fruit covered in sugar is never going to be a good choice for anyone who needs to control their blood glucose levels. However, choosing the right ingredients and pairing with plenty of protein and natural fats means you can enjoy the flavour of toffee apples in this delicious apple cake instead.